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One of Colombia’s shining lights has a long winter ahead after suffering a broken leg in a training crash this week.
Colombian media reported that Miguel Ángel López, known to many fans as “Superman” Lopez, fractured his right tibia in a training incident on Thursday. The early prognosis is that he could be sidelined for up to four months.
Doctors said he might not need surgery, but the nature of the injury means that he cannot put any heavy force on his leg due to the fracture near his knee, and will have likely have to wear a brace.
Doctors said López might be able to resume rehabilitation training after several weeks, but it could be up to four months before a full recovery and a return to normal training.
That will put a dent into the first half of López’s 2017. Still only 22, the winner of the 2014 Tour de l’Avenir enjoyed a breakout 2016 campaign, with four victories, including the overall at the Tour de Suisse. His grand tour debut at the Vuelta a España was cut short following a heavy fall in stage 3, and he pulled out in stage 6. The Colombian bounced back to win Milano-Torino to close out the season in late September.
The highly touted López turned pro with Astana in 2015, and is under contract with the Kazakh team through 2018. Teams officials have hinted that López could start the Tour de France next year, while team captain Fabio Aru could race the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta.